CANBERRA, Australia – An Australian soldier has been killed by an improvised explosive device during a patrol in southern Afghanistan, bringing the Australian death toll to 22.
The acting chief of the defense force, Lt. Gen. David Hurley, said 22-year-old Corp. Richard Edward Atkinson was on his first deployment to Afghanistan.
A second soldier was seriously wounded in the explosion in Uruzgan province, and is now in satisfactory condition at a military hospital in Tarin Kowt.
"The entire Australian Defense Force and defense community is deeply saddened by the death of this fine young Australian soldier," Hurley said of Atkinson, who was engaged to be married.
Australia has the largest military commitment in Afghanistan of any country outside NATO, with 1,550 Australian troops there.